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UN launches economic report on COVID-19

31 Mar 2020

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres holds a virtual press conference to launch a report on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

The potential longer-term effects of COVID-19 on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire.

In a new report, Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people.

The report describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of COVID-19.

“When we get past this crisis – which we will – we will face a choice. We can go back to the world as it was before or deal decisively with those issues that make us all unnecessarily vulnerable to crises,” the Secretary-General said.   

In tackling the devastating social and economic dimensions of the crisis, the Secretary-General said during the launch that there should be a focus on the most vulnerable people, including policies that support providing health and unemployment insurance and social protection. 

He stressed that debt alleviation must also be a priority, and noted that the UN is establishing a new COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support efforts to respond to the emergency in low- and middle-income countries.